Text by Charlotte Safavi
New construction comes with pluses and minuses. In this case, the upside was a 3-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot house on the picturesque Tred Avon River in Easton, Maryland. The downside was easy to fix.
“Our clients came to us in 2011 to upgrade the builder-grade features of the home, redo the floor plan to suit their lifestyle, and help them decorate,” says Jamie Merida of Bountiful Interiors, who worked on the house with his senior designer Denise Perkins.
The cottage’s color palette is mostly shades of blue: navy blues in the main living area and aqua blues outside on the porch and patio beyond, all punctuated by pops of orange. “The homeowners wanted a relaxed level of sophistication,” Jamie says. “This area is rich with tradition but doesn’t have the stiff formality of inland cities. It’s also not super coastal. The decorating is in our signature Tidewater Style, which we consider a relaxed, refreshed version of traditional furnishings, with crisp patterns and bright colors.”
This bedroom has a fresh-faced palette of navy and orange. The navy keeps the vibe nautical, as do the trio of mounted sepia sailing pictures, but the orange accents and geometric-scaled patterns keep the look fresh and transitional.
The dining room shared a double-sided fireplace with the open living room. “It was this odd sunroom/ office space,” Jamie says. “The homeowners made it clear early on to Denise and I that they wanted a proper dining room.” Thus the fireplace was sealed off on the dining room side, creating a clean wall. Next, the design team not only painted the ceiling midnight blue to give the space its own identity but also custom-mounted curtains and sheers around two walls of windows. The fabric served to cozy up the room while keeping it connected to the river view outside.
“We also picked out this great rug, a fresh take on an Oriental style, with coastal colors,” Jamie says of further grounding the new dining room.
“We got playful with the art, including hanging custom signage of the waterways in our area.”
Meanwhile, the main living area, which has an open floor plan, needed spatial definition. It’s a long rectangular room, with French doors opening into the backyard. Jamie and Denise created task niches in the layout defined by specific furnishings: a sectional incorporating his-and-her lounging chaises opposite the TV; a conversational quartet of swivel armchairs by the fire; and several woven rattan barstools pulling up to the newly extended marble-top island.
“The whole room is designed on lateral lines with a strong sense of symmetry,” Jamie adds. “It’s formal in that sense but very comfortable at the same time.”
A high-contrast navy-and-white trellis rug ties the main living area together, while French doors spill out onto a fully furnished screened porch and flagstone patio on the river.
Jamie and Denise also tackled the master bathroom upstairs, adding much-needed square footage by reclaiming part of the upper balcony; they were able to extend its footprint enough to put in a tub, overlooking river views. His-and-her vanities, marble floor tiles, and a swath of striped wallpaper completed the look.
“The homeowners love how the house turned out and are really enjoying sharing it. They entertain both formally and casually,” Jamie says, adding they might have their extended family out on the back porch for a casual meal or a few friends over for an elegant dinner inside. Either way, Jamie and Denise transformed a new build into a stylish, comfortable place the homeowners are proud to call home.
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